It’s not like you just wake up one day, and suddenly can’t hear. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses in degrees, especially when it is related to aging. You might not detect it’s occurring immediately but some indicators do show up earlier.
The early symptoms of progressive hearing loss are discrete. Recognizing them sooner is crucial to delay the development of hearing loss or other health issues related to aging. However, you’re unable to detect the signs if you don’t know what they are. You might be developing hearing loss if you identify any of the following eight barely noticeable indicators.
1. Some voices you can’t hear very well, others you can
Maybe when you talk to your brother, you can understand him fine, but when your wife talks, some words just seem to get lost. It’s a typical indication that the nerves that send signals to the brain are damaged (known as sensorineural hearing loss).
Her voice is higher in pitch, and that’s why it’s unclear. You may not be able to hear your daughter or grandchild very well for the same reason. Even higher pitched tones like the phone ringing or alarm clock can get lost. Those are also high pitched tones.
2. You avoid phone conversations
When the phone rings you are inclined to make excuses for not answering:
- I get tons of spam calls – that’s most likely what it is
- It’s a brand new phone, and I’m just not used to it yet
You hate talking on the phone, but why? It will be a good idea to get someone else to check the phone for you if the volume is all the way up and you still can’t hear what the other person is saying. If they can hear the conversation and you can’t, your ears are likely the problem.
3. Why is everybody mumbling?
It used to be just the kids, but lately, the lady on the TV news, the bartender, your neighbor, and your partner all seem like they are mumbling when they speak with you. It’s hard to imagine that everybody in your life suddenly has poor enunciation so this is a strong indication of hearing loss. You’re not hearing words the same as you once did. One of the first signs that something is happening with your hearing is when it sounds like people are mumbling and consonants like “S” and “T” are getting lost.
4. You’re saying “what?” a lot
It might not be until somebody points out that you’re saying “what?” a lot that you realize you are developing hearing loss. Frequently the people you see on a daily basis like coworkers or family are the first to observe you are having a hard time hearing. You should certainly pay attention if somebody says something.
5. Why do I hear ringing noises in my ears?
Okay, this isn’t exactly a subtle indication, but it is something people tend to ignore unless it’s distracting. A prevalent sign of hearing loss is a ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
Triggers are a substantial factor in tinnitus so it can be intermittent, too. For instance, perhaps the ringing, buzzing, or roaring only happens in the morning or when you are tired. Or, it could also be an indication of high blood pressure, circulatory issues, or trauma.
If you’re noticing these symptoms you should schedule an appointment for an exam because they could be a sign that you’re having a health issue.
6. Joining your friends at the neighborhood barbecue isn’t as enjoyable
Once again, there are those people mumbling, and that’s not fun. It’s so much more difficult to make out what people are saying in loud places. It becomes extremely difficult for you to hear anything when you’re around something as simple as the AC kicking in or kids splashing and playing around the pool. And trying to focus in on conversations is tedious.
7. You’re usually not this exhausted
It’s laborious when you struggle to understand words. You feel more tired than usual because your brain has to work harder to try and process what it’s trying to hear. Your other senses might even start to change. How much energy is left for eyesight, for example, if your brain is using so much of its energy trying to hear and understand words? If your eyes have tested fine, now it’s time to have your hearing assessed.
8. Why is this TV volume so low?
When you have to keep turning the volume on your TV up, it becomes all too easy to place the blame on your service provider or that old TV. It can be hard to hear the dialogue on your favorite shows when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Dialogue is being muddled by background music and sound effects. There are other things such as the room AC or ceiling fan to deal with. Your hearing might be failing if you constantly turn the volume up.
The good news is, all it takes to know for certain is a professional hearing exam and if you find out your hearing is failing, hearing aids will help you get back to normal.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you’ve detected any of the above signs.